US crude drilling cut as Opec to ramp up output
Crude explorers scaled back drilling in US oil fields by the most in three months after the world's top exporters agreed to raise production. US working oil rigs fell by four last week to 858. It was the second straight weekly decline and the largest drop since March.
Shale fields in South Texas and North Dakota were among the hardest hit by the reductions, according to Baker Hughes. In the Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico, the rig count held steady at 473 this week.
As the most-prolific American oil field, the Permian accounts for 55pc of all the active rigs in the country. The US rig data is "slightly bullish" for oil prices, Leo Mariani, an analyst at NatAlliance Securities, said in an email.
American producers are bracing up for an expansion in global oil supplies after members of Opec agreed to end their cap on output. Saudi Arabia has pledged to pump more crude than it has ever produced as soon as next month.
West Texas Intermediate crude, the US benchmark, has risen more than 8pc as shrinking stockpiles in the world's biggest economy and supply disruptions around the world overshadowed the looming output increases by the Saudis and other nations.